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Artist Kevin Cole, actor Brent Jennings, Army Lt. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee, former NBA basketball player Darrell Walker, educator/political leader Mary Louise Williams and the late composer Florence B. Price were inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame during a black-tie ceremony and show Oct. 27 in the Robinson Center Performance Hall in Little Rock.

Before the benefit show, VIP guests gathered in the ballroom of the adjacent Doubletree Hotel for a reception at which they mingled, enjoyed gourmet bites and libations and met the honorees. Siblings Vicki Hammond and Timothy Taylor represented Price, their grandmother.

The show began with a performance by the Timmons Arts Foundation Children's Choir, featuring vocalist Tawanna Campbell-Berry and rapper Demietrus Palmer. Charles Stewart, Black Hall of Fame chairman, made opening and subsequent remarks, while Gov. Asa Hutchinson greeted attendees.

Comedian-actor Carlos Simmons served as master of ceremonies and delivered short monologues throughout the show. The program consisted of video tributes to each inductee, followed by onstage introductions by those who gave the tributes; presentations of the signature crystal trophies; and short acceptance speeches.

Also included in the music-rich evening were a vocal/guitar performance by Ganelle Holman, portraying the late Black Hall of Fame honoree Sister Rosetta Tharpe; a dance performance by the Tidwell Project, featuring a vocal performance -- Nina Simone's "Four Women" -- by Crystal Brooks; and a classical-music performance by the University of Arkansas Quartet. Vocalist Linda Williams performed to a video presentation of past Black Hall of Famers who'd passed away since the last event; she returned later for a musical tribute to the late Aretha Franklin. Highlighting the musical performances was that of recording artist and past honoree Lenny Williams.

The show was followed by an after-party in Robinson's William Grant Still Ballroom.

Proceeds from the event go to the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation. The foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations providing services for black and other underserved communities throughout the state.

Gallery: Arkansas Black Hall of Fame black-tie ceremony

High Profile on 11/04/2018

Print Headline: Applause, applause: Black Hall of Fame winners honored at annual celebration

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